Pic set to climb Summit's balcony

A correction was made to this article on Oct. 31, 2006.

Summit Entertainment has acquired screen rights to the upcoming book “Letters to Juliet” and will develop it into a film to be directed by Gary Winick.

Summit’s Patrick Wachsberger and Eric Feig will produce with Ellen Barkin and Caroline Kaplan at Applehead Pictures, the production company Barkin runs with her brother, George.

Winick, who stepped up from the indie “Tadpole” to the romantic comedy “13 Going on 30,” just completed “Charlotte’s Web” for Paramount Pictures.

To be published Wednesday by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, “Letters to Juliet” — written by Lise and Ceil Friedman — is a compilation of missives that lovelorn people all over the world have written to storied star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet. The letters find their way to Verona, Italy. Book explains who are the volunteers who’ve been answering the missives for 70 years.

A writer will be set shortly to use the fact-based tale to craft a contemporary romance film.

Summit has stepped up as a financier and producer, with films that include the Paul Haggis-directed “In the Valley of Elah,” which shoots in December with Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron. Summit is also co-financing “The Tourist,” which is in production and stars Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams. Summit, which is coming off the dance pic “Step Up,” will make overseas deals on the Haggis pic and “The Tourist” at AFM.

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